Curry is a combination of spices typically used in Pakistan, India and other South Asian countries. Curry dishes and dips have become popular worldwide. Many large cities have numerous restaurants that specialize in various kinds of curry dishes. There are three primary spices that are found in most curry: turmeric, coriander and cumin. Curry powder is used to create sauces for meats, rice, fish, beans and dips.
A versatile curry dipping sauce is made by melting, in a large pot, 2 oz. of ghee and then adding 2 lbs. of chopped onions, 1 tsp. each of cumin and salt, and a little water. Cover and cook the mixture on low heat for an hour. Take off the lid and turn up the heat slightly and cook for another 20 minutes. The onions should be soft enough to become part of the dipping sauce. Add and mix well, 2 tbsp. of tomato puree and 1 tsp. of turmeric. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add 2 tsp. of garlic and finely grated ginger root. Fry gently for a few minutes, being careful not to burn the dish. Add the onion sauce and blend thoroughly. Use this sauce to dip naan -- a round flat leavened bread popular in India -- paan -- a climbing pepper found in Asia, whose leaves are chewed -- or pita breads.
A simple curry dipping sauce for vegetables is made by mixing a cup of mayonnaise with 2 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of ketchup and curry powder to taste. If you like spicy foods, add some red chili powder. Add a small amount of chili powder -- but not so much that the dish becomes too hot. Dip in strips of eggplant, red and green peppers or other veggies of choice.
This yogurt-curry dipping sauce is quick to make, but plan ahead as it needs to chill for several hours before serving. To make the dipping sauce, mix and pulse in a food processor for 2 to 3 minutes: ½ cup of plain yogurt that has been strained through a cheesecloth; ½ cup of mayonnaise; 1/2 cup of drained and diced mango chutney; 1 tsp. of juice from a fresh lime; 2 tsp. of toasted curry powder; 2 tbsp. of minced red onion; and a 1/4 tsp. of cayenne chili toasted. This dip is good served with paan, naan or veggies.
Peel 1 lb. of parsnips and cut them into sticks about 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide. Mix parsnips with 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil and 1 tsp. each of ground cumin and ground coriander. Add 1/4 tsp. of both salt and pepper. Bake in a 425-degree-Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 40 minutes, remembering to turn the food every 15 minutes until parsnips are tender. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup of low-fat plain yogurt, 1/4 tsp. of curry paste and one minced green onion. Serve the dip with the parsnip fries.
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